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Google Chrome is cracking down on the most annoying video ads

Starting in August, some of the internet’s most annoying video ads will cease to exist — but only if you are a Google Chrome user. 

Chrome announced Wednesday that it will begin to block three of the most annoying types of video ads, based on standards put forth by The Coalition for Better Ads, which surveyed the advertisement preferences of 45,000 people across the globe. 

Chrome is giving website publishers just four months to adapt to the new set of rules, or risk the loss of advertising revenue. In 2019, 64 percent of internet users preferred Chrome over any other browser

Image used with permission by copyright holder

According to the new guidelines, the most intrusive ad types that will be blocked include ones that pester pretty much anyone using the internet, including those that require you to wait 5 seconds before skipping them, ads that begin to play midway through a video, and ads that take up more than 20 percent of screen space. Starting August 5t, Chrome will stop showing ads on sites that continue to host them. The standards only apply to videos less than 8 minutes long. 

Google, a founding member of CBA, also said YouTube will be “reviewed for compliance,” as will its other advertising offerings. 

This isn’t Chrome’s first foray into removing unwanted or ostensibly annoying ads from its browser. Two years ago, Chrome began removing ads from sites it deemed to “violate industry standards” in order to cater to consumer preferences at the time. Ever since, the use of third-party ad-blocking plugins among Chrome users have dropped “significantly” in countries like North America and Europe, according to the press release. 

Google is a company built on ad money, so naturally it has come head-to-head with developers who create ad-blocking extensions for its browser in the past. 

Last May, Chrome blocked the use of a newly developed ad-blocker extension, while also making a statement in support of their use, saying that they often work with developers “on the design of a privacy-preserving content filtering system.” The company’s contradictory action clearly made some users mad. 

It may have always been up to Google to provide a standardized option for ad-blocking on its own browser — one it, too, will have to comply by. 

Meira Gebel
Meira Gebel is a freelance reporter based in Portland. She writes about tech, social media, and internet culture for Digital…
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